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Washington, D.C.—The global war on terror is diverting the world's attention from the central causes of instability, reports the Worldwatch Institute in its annual State of the World 2005. Acts of terror and the dangerous reactions they provoke are symptomatic of underlying sources of global insecurity, including the perilous interplay among poverty, infectious disease, environmental degradation, and rising competition over oil and other resources.
Worldwatch researchers explore emerging global issues, stemming from the Institute's four main research areas—people, nature, energy, and economy.
State of the World 2005: Redefining Global Security is an indispensible guide for anyone looking to keep abreast of the major issues affecting our world today. To assist reporters in identifying stories, Worldwatch has created a list of story ideas, linking the issues covered in State of the World 2005 with current news items.
Washington, D.C.— Genetically modified organisms are contaminating natural crops around the world and triggering mounting economic costs as farmers lose markets and organic producers lose their certification, writes Claire Hope Cummings in “Trespass: Genetic Engineering as the
Final Conquest.” Worse, consumers are eating GMOs whether they like it or not, and even GMOs not approved for human consumption have shown up in food products such as taco shells. Moreover, writes Cummings, patents awarded for the commercial use of genetic engineering technology are giving agrochemical companies ultimate control over the means and methods of food production.
Washington, D.C.—Parents, chefs, environmentalists, food business executives, and concerned consumers everywhere are demanding locally grown fare, according to a new book by the Worldwatch Institute. No longer a fad, local food will feature on more holiday tables this year than ever before, as Americans prepare meals of vegetables, fruit, meat, and other ingredients grown and raised on nearby farms, rather than from distant agribusinesses.
Washington, D.C.—Worldwatch president Christopher Flavin provided testimony on environmental
challenges in Asia at a U.S. House of Representatives Committee on International Relations hearing
on September 22, 2004. Flavin was invited by Representative James Leach (R-IA), Chairman of the
Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Economic Policy. Other witnesses were Ruth Greenspan Bell,
Resident Scholar, Resources for the Future, Elizabeth Economy, Ph.D., Director of Asia Studies,
Council on Foreign Relations, and Mingma Sherpa, Director of Asia Programs, World Wildlife Fund.
A transcript of Flavin's testimony is below.
September 5-13, 2004 marks the 10th anniversary
of the United Nations' historical International Conference on Population
and Development in Cairo, Egypt.
D.C.―The world’s population of 6.4 billion continues to
grow by more than 70 million people per year—nearly two million every
five days—yet today’s population story is not only about rising
numbers. According to the latest issue of World Watch magazine
it’s also a tale of too many restless young people in some parts
of the world, a larger share of elderly in others, and the economic instabilities
of a globalized world.
D.C.—Growing demand for meat has become a driving force behind
virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening
the human future, write the editors of World Watch magazine in the
July/August issue. Total meat consumption has increased five-fold in the
past half century, putting extreme pressure on Earth’s limited resources,
including water, land, feed, and fuel.
Worldwatch’s delegation left Bonn, Germany, last Friday satisfied with the results of the conference and the role the Institute played in supporting its success. The four days spent on the Rhine River in the light-filled Bundeshaus—the former home of the German parliament—left the 3,000-plus participants exhausted but energized by what had been achieved.